TOMS Brings One-For-One Business Model to the Coffee Industry

TOMS Brings One-For-One Business Model to the Coffee Industry
Image credit: toms.com

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Former Staff Writer
2 min read

TOMS, whose canvas slip-ons became favored by an international style set, is brewing up a whole new facet to its buy-one-give-one business model.

Founder Blake Mycoskie announced TOMS’ foray into coffee -- including a new chain of coffee shops, a wholesale roasting enterprise and an online subscription club -- yesterday at SXSW.

With beans sourced from Rwanda, Malawi, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru, TOMS will provide clean water for a week to residents of those countries for every bag sold. Outside of its own cafes and website, TOMS’ coffee beans will be vended exclusively at Whole Foods.

Six total roasts will be available in 12-oz. bags for $12.99 a piece, while cafes are slated to begin rolling out this month in Austin, New York, Portland and San Francisco.

Related: TOMS Creates E-Commerce Hub for Socially Conscious Shoppers

And “project burlap,” as the coffee initiative was code-named, marks a new era for the company.

Mycoskie told Fortune that TOMS will henceforth enter a new product category every year, employing the same one-for-one archetype. For every item sold, in other words, a similar product or service is provided to impoverished communities across the globe.

What realms is the company eyeing? Hospitality, banking, transportation, education and beyond.

"When we think about product, we don't think, 'What can we make and sell,'" COO Joe Scirocco told the outlet. "We think, 'What does the world need, and how can we address it with a commercial endeavor?'"

Related: A Possible Perk for Coffee Addicts: Better Long-Term Memory

Its latest endeavor also represents Mycoskie’s return to TOMS since he left the company in 2011, seeking to enjoy the fruits of his hard work.

Upon his return late last year, Mycoskie ousted TOMS’ acting CEO, Laurent Potdevin, who subsequently left to become chief of Lululemon.

For consumers scratching their heads at the unexpected product extension, TOMS is already one step ahead.

“TOMS makes coffee?” reads an inscription on each sky-blue bag of beans. “When we started as a shoe company, we knew nothing about footwear. But starting from scratch only made us work that much harder.”

Related: How I Did It: The TOMS Story

More from Entrepreneur

We created the SYOB course to help you get started on your entrepreneurial journey. You can now sign up for just $99, plus receive a 7-day free trial. Just use promo code SYOB99 to claim your offer.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Entrepreneur Store scours the web for the newest software, gadgets & web services. Explore our giveaways, bundles, "Pay What You Want" deals & more.

Latest on Entrepreneur